Lots of owners put their heart and soul into their businesses, but 1205 Distillery co-owner Brad Colver also contributed one of his fingers. “When we were building this place, I made a bad cut with a miter saw and …” he says, lifting a hand that formerly contained a pinky. “I was adjusting the still with one hand for two months.”
Named for the date of Prohibition repeal and launched in 2014 by Teresa Webster, the Fletcher Place hangout remains the first female-opened craft distillery in Indiana. To help launch it, she called on her son Hudson and old family friend Colver, who had been working at a Breckenridge ski shop and running a hobby still on the side. The two were old friends; Hudson had hung around Colver’s house so often that when she sold to the duo in 2017, “it felt like going into business with my younger brother,” Hudson says.
Today, 1205 offers 10 spirits, sources all its grain from Lebanon and other local ingredients as often as possible, just broke into the Chicago market, and sits over an appropriately evocative stone-walled basement that doubles as a storehouse for its American white-oak barrels.
The cozy space—which backs up to Repeal, its sister restaurant—houses a lively tasting room that serves eight cocktails and flights, all priced at $8. Off-center selections include The Barreled Reporter, a whiskey derived from a sour beer by their friends at Flat12 Bierwerks, and a new peated bourbon. Best move: Order a flight, and then scoot over to Repeal. But if you can limit yourself to only one cocktail, go with sentimental favorite Four Finger rye, named after Colver’s saw incident. “I have a special place in my heart for that one,” he says.
636 Virginia Ave, 317-439-4997, 1205distillery.com